How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0698154509

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 304

View: 3349

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From the New York Times–bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From and Farsighted, a new look at the power and legacy of great ideas. In this illustrated history, Steven Johnson explores the history of innovation over centuries, tracing facets of modern life (refrigeration, clocks, and eyeglass lenses, to name a few) from their creation by hobbyists, amateurs, and entrepreneurs to their unintended historical consequences. Filled with surprising stories of accidental genius and brilliant mistakes—from the French publisher who invented the phonograph before Edison but forgot to include playback, to the Hollywood movie star who helped invent the technology behind Wi-Fi and Bluetooth—How We Got to Now investigates the secret history behind the everyday objects of contemporary life. In his trademark style, Johnson examines unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated fields: how the invention of air-conditioning enabled the largest migration of human beings in the history of the species—to cities such as Dubai or Phoenix, which would otherwise be virtually uninhabitable; how pendulum clocks helped trigger the industrial revolution; and how clean water made it possible to manufacture computer chips. Accompanied by a major six-part television series on PBS, How We Got to Now is the story of collaborative networks building the modern world, written in the provocative, informative, and engaging style that has earned Johnson fans around the globe.

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781846148538

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 256

View: 9287

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How did the advent of refrigeration help create the golden age of Hollywood? How did the invention of flash photography help shift public opinion on the plight of New York's poorest inhabitants and bring about social reform? And what about our battle against dirt? How did that help create the microchips in our smartphones and computers? In How We Got to Now, Steven Johnson traces six essential innovations that made the modern world; from their origins in ancient history to the technological advancements of recent years. He uncovers a surprising history of pivotal scientific breakthroughs made by amateurs and entrepreneurs through the years: from the Parisian printer who invented the 'phonautograph' to record sound decades before Eddison, to a businessman's audacious and unannounced intervention of adding chlorine to his city's reservoirs in order to keep his contract with the water board. Each fascinating story builds the network of ideas which made subsequent discoveries possible. This book is a celebration of innovation: it shows how time and time again, big ideas coalesce out of smaller, incremental breakthroughs. Unlocking tales of the unsung heroes and unexpected scientific revolutions, this is the story of the ideas that changed the world and the way we live in it.

How We Got to Now

Six Innovations that Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 1846148561

Category: History

Page: 256

View: 9898

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From Steven Johnson, the bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, comes How We Got to Now, the companion book to his six-part BBC One television series exploring the power and the legacy of great ideas. How did photography bring about social reform? What connects refrigeration to Hollywood? And how did our battle against dirt help create smartphones? In this story of ingenious breakthroughs and unsung heroes, Steven Johnson explores the essential innovations that changed the world and how we live in it. 'A new Steven Johnson book is something not to be missed. The author has become the leading writer on how inventions happen' Daniel Finkelstein, The Times, Books of the Year 'Graceful and compelling ... you'll find yourself exhilarated' The New York Times Book Review 'Readable, entertaining, and a challenge to any jaded sensibility that has become inured to the everyday miracles all around us' Peter Forbes, Guardian'This nimble history of invention . . .is a many-layered delight' Nature Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, outside.in - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Wonderland

How Play Made the Modern World

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0399184481

Category: HISTORY

Page: 322

View: 6315

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This illustrated "history of popular entertainment takes along-zoom approach, contending that the pursuit of novelty and wonder is a powerful driver of world-shaping technological change. Steven Johnson argues that, throughout history, the cutting edge of innovation lies wherever people are working the hardest to keep themselves and others amused"--

Farsighted

How We Make the Decisions That Matter the Most

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 0525534709

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 256

View: 914

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The hardest choices are also the most consequential. So why do we know so little about how to get them right? Big, life-altering decisions matter so much more than the decisions we make every day, and they're also the most difficult: where to live, whom to marry, what to believe, whether to start a company, how to end a war. There's no one-size-fits-all approach for addressing these kinds of conundrums. Steven Johnson's classic Where Good Ideas Come From inspired creative people all over the world with new ways of thinking about innovation. In Farsighted, he uncovers powerful tools for honing the important skill of complex decision-making. While you can't model a once-in-a-lifetime choice, you can model the deliberative tactics of expert decision-makers. These experts aren't just the master strategists running major companies or negotiating high-level diplomacy. They're the novelists who draw out the complexity of their characters' inner lives, the city officials who secure long-term water supplies, and the scientists who reckon with future challenges most of us haven't even imagined. The smartest decision-makers don't go with their guts. Their success relies on having a future-oriented approach and the ability to consider all their options in a creative, productive way. Through compelling stories that reveal surprising insights, Johnson explains how we can most effectively approach the choices that can chart the course of a life, an organization, or a civilization. Farsighted will help you imagine your possible futures and appreciate the subtle intelligence of the choices that shaped our broader social history.

Where Good Ideas Come from

The Seven Patterns of Innovation

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141033401

Category: Creative thinking

Page: 326

View: 1000

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FROM THE INTERNATIONAL BESTSELLING AUTHOR 'Exhilarating . . . An entirely new way of looking at almost everything' GUARDIAN Where do good ideas come from? And what do we need to know and do to have more of them? Here Steven Johnson identifies the seven key principles of innovation, including: A slow hunch can be much more valuable than a Eureka moment The connected 'hive mind' is smarter than the lone thinker Where you think matters just as much as what you're thinking The best ideas come from building on the ideas and inventions of others From the Renaissance to satellites, medical breakthroughs to social media, Charles Darwin to Marconi, Steven Johnson shows how, by recognizing where and how patterns of creativity occur, we can all discover the secrets of inspiration. 'A huge diversity of bright ideas' FINANCIAL TIMES 'Johnson finds new and original things to say about the nature of innovation, and the different forms it can take' ECONOMIST, BOOKS OF THE YEAR 'An enthralling work full of counter-intuitive insights' DAILY MAIL

The Most Beautiful Roof in the World

Exploring the Rainforest Canopy

Author: Kathryn Lasky

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 9780152008970

Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Page: 48

View: 2966

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Describes the work of Meg Lowman in the rainforest canopy, an area unexplored until the last ten years and home to previously unknown species of plants and animals.

The Invention of Air

An experiment, a journey, a new country and the amazing force of scientific discovery

Author: Stephen T Johnson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141044918

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 176

View: 5143

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In 1794, Joseph Priestley - amateur scientist, ordained minister and radical thinker - set sail for America to escape persecution. Stephen Johnson tells his incredible story: the discovery of oxygen, the invention of a science, the founding of a church, and, with the great minds of his time, the development of the United States itself. But Priestley's revolutionary ideas put him in terrible danger. Johnson uses the progress of Priestley and his colleagues not merely to describe the wonder of discovery, but to show us how we have come to understand the world, how far we have travelled with the power of human enquiry - and how one man's curiosity can help build an entire country.

Future Perfect

The Case For Progress In A Networked Age

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin UK

ISBN: 0141974923

Category: Political Science

Page: 272

View: 631

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What connects the "miracle on the Hudson" to the planning of the French railway system, or the mysterious outbreak of strange smells in downtown Manhattan to the invention of the Internet? With his characteristic flair for multidisciplinary storytelling, Steven Johnson shows in Future Perfect that what lies behind these and many other fascinating human stories is the concept of networked thinking. Exploring a new vision of progress, Johnson argues that networked thinking holds the key to an incredible range of human achievements, and can transform everything from local government to drug research to arts funding and education. Future Perfect paints a compelling portrait of a new model of political change that is already on the rise, and shows that despite Western political systems hopelessly gridlocked by old ideas, change for the better can happen, and that new solutions are on the horizon. 'If you're a pessimist-and chances are you are-you should read Future Perfect. In fact, read it even if you're an optimist, because Mr. Johnson's book will give you lots of material to brighten the outlook of your gloomy friends...it envisions a new political movement' Wall Street Journal 'An informative, tech-savvy and provocative vision of a new and more democratic public philosophy. A breath of fresh air a breath of fresh air in an age of gridlock, cynicism and disillusionment' San Francisco Chronicle 'A buoyant and hopeful book ... Future Perfect reminds us we already have the treatment. We just need to use it' Boston Globe Steven Johnson is the US bestselling author of Where Good Ideas Come From, The Invention of Air, The Ghost Map, and Everything Bad Is Good for You, and is the editor of the anthology The Innovator's Cookbook. He is the founder of a variety of influential websites - most recently, outside.in - and writes for Time, Wired, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He lives in Marin County, California, with his wife and three sons.

Everything Bad is Good for You

How Today's Popular Culture is Actually Making Us Smarter

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 9781594481949

Category: Psychology

Page: 254

View: 5918

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Discusses the intellectual benefits of elements from modern popular culture, including video games and reality TV programs.

The Innovator's Cookbook

Essentials for Inventing What Is Next

Author: Steven Johnson

Publisher: Penguin

ISBN: 1101550384

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 2638

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Look out for Johnson’s new book, Wonderland, now on sale. Steven Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From, Emergence, Everything Bad is Good for You, Mind Wide Open and Ghost Map, and an acknowledged bestselling leader on the subject of innovation, gathers - for a foundational text on the subject of innovation - essays, interviews, and cutting-edge insights by such exciting field leaders as Peter Drucker, Richard Florida, Eric Von Hippel, Dean Keith Simonton, Arthur Koestler, John Seely Brown, and Marshall Berman. Johnson also provides new material from Marisa Mayer of Google, Twitter's Biz Stone and Jack Dorsey, and Ray Ozzie, Microsoft's former Chief Software Architect. With additional commentary by Johnson himself, this book reveals the innovation found in a wide range of fields, including science, technology, energy, transportation, education, art, and sociology, making it vital, fresh, and fascinating reading for our time, and for the future.

Blown to Bits

Your Life, Liberty, and Happiness After the Digital Explosion

Author: Harold Abelson,Ken Ledeen,Harry R. Lewis

Publisher: Addison-Wesley Professional

ISBN: 0137135599

Category: Computers

Page: 366

View: 5373

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Every day, billions of photographs, news stories, songs, X-rays, TV shows, phone calls, and emails are being scattered around the world as sequences of zeroes and ones: bits. We can't escape this explosion of digital information and few of us want to-the benefits are too seductive. The technology has enabled unprecedented innovation, collaboration, entertainment, and democratic participation. But the same engineering marvels are shattering centuries-old assumptions about privacy, identity, free expression, and personal control as more and more details of our lives are captured as digital data. Can you control who sees all that personal information about you? Can email be truly confidential, when nothing seems to be private? Shouldn't the Internet be censored the way radio and TV are? is it really a federal crime to download music? When you use Google or Yahoo! to search for something, how do they decide which sites to show you? Do you still have free speech in the digital world? Do you have a voice in shaping government or corporate policies about any of this? Blown to Bits offers provocative answers to these questions and tells intriguing real-life stories. This book is a wake-up call To The human consequences of the digital explosion.

How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson - A 15-minute Summary

Six Innovations That Made the Modern World

Author: Instaread Summaries

Publisher: Instaread Summaries

ISBN: N.A

Category: Technology & Engineering

Page: 25

View: 992

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PLEASE NOTE: This is a summary of the book and NOT the original book. How We Got to Now by Steven Johnson - A 15-minute Summary Inside this Instaread Summary: • Overview of the entire book • Introduction to the important people in the book • Summary and analysis of all the chapters in the book • Key Takeaways of the book • A Reader's Perspective Preview of this summary: Chapter 1 Glass formed in the Libyan desert about twenty-six million years ago when grains of silica became superheated for some unknown reason. People began making ornaments from it about ten thousand years later. Still later, Roman artisans learned to make glass windows and drinking vessels from these early examples of glass. In 1204, Turkish glassmakers migrated to Venice, a major trade hub. The merchants of Venice happily began trading in this new commodity, but the high heat required for glassmaking kept sparking fires in the city. In 1291, the glassmakers were relocated to the island of Murano, where their creative community has thrived due to new levels of competition and shared innovation. Murano glassmakers developed crystal, an extremely clear glass that bends light very precisely. Monks in northern Italy used it to create the first eyeglasses. Other than monks, most people did not read, so there was little demand for glasses until Johannes Gutenberg’s printing press made books accessible in the 1440s. Other innovators began studying the properties of convex pieces of glass. In 1590, a father and son in the Netherlands invented the microscope, which British scientist, Robert Hooke, used in the next century to discover the cell, the building block for life. In 1608, Hans Lippershey patented a lens that magnified what a person was viewing through it. Galileo improved on the Lippershey’s design and, two years later, was using a telescope to challenge the assumption that all heavenly bodies revolved around the Earth. The printed word spread his ideas and helped pave the way for the Renaissance. One hummingbird effect of glass came from a quest to measure things. In 1887, British physicist, Charles Vernon Boys, created a thin fiber of glass to use as a balance arm. The new type of glass, which would come to be called fiberglass, was very strong. Within a hundred years, fiberglass was widely used in insulation, airplanes and computer circuits.

The Innovator's DNA

Mastering the Five Skills of Disruptive Innovators

Author: Jeff Dyer,Hal Gregersen,Clayton M. Christensen

Publisher: Harvard Business Press

ISBN: 142214271X

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 272

View: 655

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A new classic, cited by leaders and media around the globe as a highly recommended read for anyone interested in innovation. In The Innovator’s DNA, authors Jeffrey Dyer, Hal Gregersen, and bestselling author Clayton Christensen (The Innovator’s Dilemma, The Innovator’s Solution, How Will You Measure Your Life?) build on what we know about disruptive innovation to show how individuals can develop the skills necessary to move progressively from idea to impact. By identifying behaviors of the world’s best innovators—from leaders at Amazon and Apple to those at Google, Skype, and Virgin Group—the authors outline five discovery skills that distinguish innovative entrepreneurs and executives from ordinary managers: Associating, Questioning, Observing, Networking, and Experimenting. Once you master these competencies (the authors provide a self-assessment for rating your own innovator’s DNA), the authors explain how to generate ideas, collaborate to implement them, and build innovation skills throughout the organization to result in a competitive edge. This innovation advantage will translate into a premium in your company’s stock price—an innovation premium—which is possible only by building the code for innovation right into your organization’s people, processes, and guiding philosophies. Practical and provocative, The Innovator’s DNA is an essential resource for individuals and teams who want to strengthen their innovative prowess.

Spine of the Continent

The Race to Save America's Last, Best Wilderness

Author: Mary Ellen Hannibal

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield

ISBN: 0762788828

Category: Nature

Page: 288

View: 3935

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As climate change encroaches, natural habitats are shifting while human development makes islands of even the largest nature reserves, stranding the biodiversity within them. The Spine of the Continent profiles the most ambitious conservation effort ever made: to create linked protected areas from the Yukon to Mexico. Backed by blue-ribbon scientific foundations, the Spine is a grassroots, cooperative effort among NGOs large and small and everyday citizens. It aims not only to make physical connections so nature will persist but also to make connections between people and the land. In this fascinating and important account, Mary Ellen Hannibal travels the length of the Spine and shares stories of the impassioned activists she meets and the critters they love.

A century of innovation

the 3M story

Author: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780972230216

Category: Business & Economics

Page: 236

View: 9979

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A compilation of 3M voices, memories, facts and experiences from the company's first 100 years.

1983

The World at the Brink

Author: Taylor Downing

Publisher: Abacus

ISBN: 9780349143040

Category:

Page: 400

View: 9019

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'A carefully researched and hugely readable account of the build-up to war, the momentum inexorably growing as he assembles each part of the jigsaw. Indeed, his narrative is so persuasive that by the time you are about two- thirds through, it takes some effort to remind yourself that the Third World War never happened' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 1983 was a supremely dangerous year - even more dangerous than 1962, the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis. In the US, President Reagan massively increased defence spending, described the Soviet Union as an 'evil empire' and announced his 'Star Wars' programme, calling for a shield in space to defend the US from incoming missiles. Yuri Andropov, the paranoid Soviet leader, saw all this as signs of American aggression and convinced himself that the US really meant to attack the Soviet Union. He put the KGB on alert to look for signs of an imminent nuclear attack. When a Soviet fighter jet shot down Korean Air Lines flight KAL 007 after straying off course over a sensitive Soviet military area, President Reagan described it as a 'terrorist act' and 'a crime against humanity'. The temperature was rising fast. Then at the height of the tension, NATO began a war game called Able Archer 83. In this exercise, NATO requested permission to use the codes to launch nuclear weapons. The nervous Soviets convinced themselves this was no exercise but the real thing. This is an extraordinary and largely unknown Cold War story of spies and double agents, of missiles being readied, of intelligence failures, misunderstandings and the panic of world leaders. With access to hundreds of extraordinary new documents just released in the US, Taylor Downing is able to tell for the first time the gripping but true story of how near the world came to the brink of nuclear war in 1983. 1983: The World at the Brink is a real-life thriller.